CWM biodiversity icon

Biodiversity

Native vegetation plays an important role in the health of our environment and the wellbeing of our community.

Native vegetation assists in the protection of soil erosion, the reduction of land degradation and salinity, the improvement of water quality and availability, the provision of vital habitat for wildlife, including threatened species, and the provision of recreational spaces for the community. The native vegetation in our city also helps to provide us with a unique sense of place and is an important part of our natural heritage. Currently throughout the region of Onkaparinga only nine per cent of our original native vegetation remains, therefore its conservation is of significant importance.

To effectively conserve our remaining native vegetation we need to have measures in place that reduce threats and improves our native vegetation’s condition and resilience. Current threats to biodiversity include habitat fragmentation, weed and feral animal infestation, drought and clearance for fire management.
 

Indicator: Number of conservation volunteer sites   
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Data source: City of Onkaparinga, Parks and Natural Resources
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Strategies / Plans: Environment Strategy 2014-19
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Community Plan 2035: Objective 4.1 Valued Natural Resources
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Number of conservation volunteer sites

Conservation volunteer programs allow the community to be involved in various conservation activities, such as restoring and improving areas of bushland, creeks or coastlines. Other conservation activities in our region include monitoring and supporting threatened species. The number of conservation sites within the City of Onkaparinga provides an indication of the extent of current conservation activities.

Bush For Life is a Trees For Life program that supports community members in taking practical steps to conserve our bushland. The City of Onkaparinga partners with Trees For Life to help fund training, equipment and technical support for volunteers on many of our bushland reserves. The number of conservation volunteer sites was sourced from City of Onkaparinga, Parks and Natural Resources, with the most current data available for the financial year 2014-15 (3).

Data Analysis

In 2014-15 there were a total of 47 conservation volunteer sites within the City of Onkaparinga; 66 per cent of these sites were Bush For Life sites and 34 per cent were other conservation volunteer sites within the city (Figure 1).

There are a total of 318 Bush for Life sites within South Australia, with 9.7 per cent of these sites located on City of Onkaparinga reserves. In addition to the 31 Bush For Life sites, the City of Onkaparinga hosts 16 other conservation volunteer sites that are active in restoring native vegetation in creek lines and on the coast, and monitor and manage nesting sites of threatened species such as the Hooded Plover. These volunteer sites are also supported by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board. 

 

Figure 1: Total number of conservation volunteer sites within the City of Onkaparinga, 2008-09 to
2014-15

CWM Total number of conservation volunteer sites within the City of Onkaparinga 2008-09 to 2014-15

Source: City of Onkaparinga, Parks and Natural Resources (3)

Trend Analysis

CWM biodiversity trend analysis

The overall number of volunteer conservation sites has remained reasonably consistent between 2008-09 and 2014-15, with only a 4.1 per cent decrease. While the number of Bush For Life sites within the City of Onkaparinga decreased by 24.4 per cent between 2008-09 and 2014-15, the number of other conservation volunteer sites managed by the City of Onkaparinga doubled (Figure 1).

The decrease in the number of Bush For Life sites was partially due to changes in Occupational Health and Safety legislation, which prevents volunteers from working on roadside vegetation. Those sites are now managed by the City of Onkaparinga as part of the Native Vegetation Roadside Marker Scheme.

Policy Implications

The City of Onkaparinga will continue to implement the Urban Creek Recovery Project and other initiatives in the Environment Strategy 2014-19, including targeted revegetation, the protection and restoration of local biodiversity and the promotion of volunteer involvement. This strategy and initiatives will continue to contribute to achieving the Community Plan objective 4.1 Valued Natural Resources.

 

This indicator is linked to other strategies, plans and targets outlined below:

Government of South Australia South Australia’s Strategic Plan Targets: 69. Lose no species: Lose no known native species as a result of human impacts.
72. Nature conservation: increase participation in nature conservation activities by 25% by 2015.  
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Other State Strategies • Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Plan 2014–24
• No Species Loss–A Nature Conservation Strategy for South Australia 2007-17
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National Strategies: • Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-30
• Australia’s Native Vegetation Framework
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